Senator Lindsey Williams

Harrisburg, Pa. −July 10, 2024 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams (D-Allegheny) released this statement today following Senate passage of HB 1993:

“I was happy to vote for HB 1993, which will reform Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This legislation will save Pennsylvanians money on their prescription medications, support our local pharmacies, and protect a vital link in our health care chain.

I have been fortunate to partner with local pharmacies throughout my time in the Pennsylvania Senate. These incredibly knowledgeable individuals have participated in my office’s Senior Fairs, Community Baby Showers, and other events to ensure that residents have access to vaccines and other important health information.

One of the pharmacists I’ve worked with closely throughout my time in the Senate, Katilyn Sullivan, the owner of Russelton-Palmer Pharmacy in West Deer, said “PBM reform continues to be needed to ensure that patients will always have access to local brick and mortar & include all the unique services we provide as community pharmacies. Today was a small step in the right direction, but local pharmacies are still in danger of going away. We thank the lawmakers that have worked hard with us and we hope to continue to work towards better solutions.”

These close community ties are part of why I advocated for local pharmacies to be the lead in the Covid vaccine distribution. These small pharmacies know their patients extremely well and are well placed to answer questions. Additionally, it was important to me that these small businesses were supported, not just large corporate pharmacies.

In 2023, I hosted a roundtable for independent pharmacies to hear about the issues that were impacting their businesses. They listed many of the issues that are addressed in this legislation, particularly parity for reimbursements with big corporate pharmacies and eliminating clawbacks from PBMs.  Small pharmacies are at an incredible disadvantage under our current system, as corporate giants are able to negotiate better rates and spread out losses. This legislation will introduce parity into the system and put our small businesses on an equal playing field.

In April, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee heard from both independent pharmacies about how unfavorable reimbursement rates and monopolies by the larger pharmacies have driven up costs and closed small pharmacies. Since the beginning of this year, more than 140 pharmacies have closed in Pennsylvania because PBM reimbursements no longer cover what it costs pharmacies to purchase medications, let alone what it costs to dispense prescriptions to customers.

I am proud to help protect our local pharmacies and our health care by supporting PBM reform and I thank my House colleague Rep. Jessica Benham (D-38) for sponsoring it. I ask the House to move quickly in concurring with these changes so that this legislation can move to the Governor’s desk and start to benefit Pennsylvanians as soon as possible.”